Small Town News


Illuminated holiday world opens tonight

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

- Advertisement -

A spectacularly illuminated holiday world comes to life tonight in the woods outside Shelton.

Elves, angels, nutcrackers, reindeer and Santa Clauses of many sizes can be encountered on the 5-acre Winter Wonderland created by Stephen Springs.

Aliens in a flying saucer, two real donkeys and two sheep can also be encountered along the winding paths.

For the fifth consecutive year, Spring shares his love of holiday decorations by hosting his Winter Wonderland on his property at 11 S.E. Channel Point Road, just off Arcadia Road outside Shelton.

The display is open from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Dec. 28. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for youths ages 4 to 17 and free to children 3 years and younger.

Christmas Wonderland includes about 60 inflatable characters, a section devoted to Nativity scenes and miniature buildings such as the elves' workshop and Santa's House. About 80,000 lights illuminate the displays and pathways.

"I enjoy seeing people's smiles," Springs said.

Spring calls his holiday passion a "hobby-business." But horrible weather last December led to only 1,300 people touring the Wonderland; Spring said he had hoped for 3,000.

Springs said if he doesn't attract more visitors this year, he might be forced to stop funding his project.

"I hope people come out and discover it. ... The thing is, this is a treasure," he said.

Growing up in Tacoma, Spring pestered his parents to see all the Christmas displays. His vision is modeled on Never Never Land in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park.

Spring, a rental property owner and tour boat skipper, started decorating his driveway after moving to Shelton. His display became more elaborate each year, and in 2008 a friend encouraged him to expand his vision. He opened his Wonderland to the public in 2003 and 2004 before accepting a job in Westport.

Four years ago, Spring reopened his Wonderland and expanded the illuminated trails on his property. He buys many of his decorations at such local shops such as Treasures Thrift Store and the Nifty Thrifty in Shelton, auctions and garage sales.

The display adds about $400 a month to his electricity bill, Spring said.

To get to Christmas Wonderland, turn east from Olympic Highway South onto Arcadia Road; drive 4.2 miles; and turn left onto Channel Point Road. You can't miss the lights.

Copyright 2015 Shelton-Mason County Journal, Shelton, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: December 3, 2015

More from Shelton-Mason County Journal